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Magdalena Abakanowicz

Magdalena Abakanowicz

*  1930 Falenty bei Warschau

The Polish Magdalena Abakanowicz is considered one of the most important plastic artists of recent decades. Her biomorphic abstraction, often figurative works based on natural materials can also be found in public spaces in many cases, are of an existential depth difficult for the observer to elude.
Born in the Polish town Falenty near Warsaw in 1930, Magdalena Abakanowicz enrolled at the Art Academy in Warsaw at the age of 20. As early as in the 1960s she called attention to herself as an innovative textile artist: She developed her own weaving technique and created the famous "Abakan", large spatial sculptures with soft, often circular shapes formed from sisal.
In 1965 Magdalena Abakanowicz followed a call to the Academy of Poznan, where she would teach for a quarter of a century. Around the same time she began to produce biomorphic monumental sculptures that in many cases allude to the human body, body fragments or animals. She employed natural materials such as sisal, rope, synthetic resin and burlap. However, Magdalena Abakanowicz also used conventional materials such as wood, ceramics, plaster, bronze, iron and stone in her works.
It is especially Magdalena Abakanowicz's sculptures with human bodies or torsos, isolated or clustered, that are soaked with a human pathos which can also be found in paintings and graphic works by the artist. Magdalena Abakanowicz's presumably most important cycle "Embryology", made between 1978 and 1980, carries a dramatic statement: An arrangement of 800 egg-shaped sculptures in sizes between four and 250 centimeters.
Magdalena Abakanowicz , who was awarded the Grand Prix at the Biennial of Sao Paolo in 1965, eventually became world famous artist since her participation in the Venice Biennial (1980). From then on she also created numerous works for public spaces, such as bronze animal heads for the Olympic Park in Seoul (1988); in 1991/1992 she made a group of 36 sculptures ("The Crowd") for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Also numerous international solo exhibitions testify to the great esteem, which makes Magdalena Abakanowicz one of the most important artists of our time. The work "Abakanowicz on the Roof“, a selection of works on the spectacular Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, presented by the renowned New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1999, also delivers proof thereof. The world-renowned artist is active in the Polish capital.